Dogs, just like people, can become uncomfortably cold in the dead of winter. Sometimes you can tell – they shiver just like we do, an action used to generate heat. Or they whine or appear anxious and perhaps look for a warm place to burrow. But sometimes there are no outward signs. A lot of dogs are stoic. With that in mind:
- Dont keep your dog outside for long in really frigid weather.
- If you go out, reducing the thermostat to 60 degrees to conserve oil, put your pal whom youre leaving home in a fuzzy dog bed with a blanket over her. That way, even if she climbs in and out, she knows she has the option of warming up. This is especially important because your dog is close to the floor – hot air rises toward the ceiling, while cold air sinks.
- Consider buying a heating pad – some are made especially for dog beds.
- If your dog is strictly an outside dog, make sure she has adequate outdoor shelter from the wind in the form of a shed or dog house, with extra bedding for additional warmth. In terribly cold weather, the garage can be an option. If conditions become severe enough, bringing her in the house may be the only reasonable course of action.
- Pay particular attention to these suggestions if your dog is getting on in years. Cold weather can be hard on pets with arthritis, which tends to feel worse in cold, damp conditions. Also, the older the dog, the less shell be able to adapt physiologically to changes in temperature. Keep in mind that a dog ages considerably in just a few years. Five years may mean youre going from 40 to 45, but for her, its close to half a lifetime.
- Especially for dogs with thin coats of hair, a jacket for going outside is never a bad idea.